It sure was a toughie today. Not only leaving El Rocio in the blazing sunshine but also having to bypass my favourite City in world, Seville. Wronger than a wrong thing in wrong town. My face was as long as a fiddle. Got to put some miles in though, needs must.
It was a straightforward journey up to Caceres. We fuelled up at the filling station just outside Camping Aldea in El Rocio then hit the highway. We had 210 miles to cover.
On arrival at the Aire it was unfortunately full. Bugger! Several vans had selfishly parked over two spaces although to be fair, the white lines marking the bays were ridiculously tight. There are bus bays a little further up the Carpark but be prepared to move off before 8am in the morning when the coaches arrive. If we’d had more time we would have gone on the campsite. It has excellent reviews and is on ACSI. As we could only afford one night however we decided to wing it.
We have bypassed Caceres several times, mainly due to the weather. Very glad we finally made it. It’s a fine example of a well preserved medieval walled town. The architecture within the huge wall is a combination of Roman and Renaissance, Moorish meets Gothic. Game of Thrones fans will recognise various sites from the scenes filmed here. The Museo de Caceres, the Arco de La Estella and the Plaza de Santa Maria all feature. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also has great shops, lively bars and a buzzing food culture. I so want to stay longer! Next trip we’ll give this place the attention it clearly deserves and book on the site for a while.
Next morning it’s up at the crack of dawn and away. Slight issue getting out of town as we needed the big Mercadona Supermarket and somehow missed the turning. Then followed a heated altercation on a roundabout as we accidentally pulled out on a Spaniard in a hurry. A pantomime of yelling and angry gesticulating followed from both males. We stopped the van and blocked off the whole roundabout while the two stags let off steam. I’m now deaf in my right ear but no worries, I have another one. We eventually drive on but are apparently now ‘running on fumes’. Oh the joys of Motorhoming!! Thankfully the sat nav finds us a filling station a mile or so ahead, in the right direction. Phew! My nerves are completely frayed and we haven’t even got out of Caceres yet!
Next stop, when we finally get going, is Segovia. It’s another long drive but effortless, after the bad start, on the excellent, empty roads. The drop in temperature as we head further north is very noticeable. As we draw closer, snow is visible on the mountain tops. We basically go from 25 degrees to just 5. We arrive at the Aire and let me tell you, it feels damn cold! We opt for the Aire by the old Bull Ring, Plaza del Toros. It’s only a Carpark with Motorhome bays and fill and dump facilities. Nothing pretty, just practical and very central. Note, the fresh water is from a pipe coming up from the ground and needs a hosepipe screw fitting to connect. Mark found out the hard way, much to my amusement. He was still getting on my nerves (now grumpy after too much driving ) so I admit to a little secret fist pump when he got a nice cold shower and came back dripping. Oops! 😬. Wasn’t quick enough with the camera, dammit. Bless him though, he laughed once he’d run out of swears. The bays aren’t so big here so we had to park sideways but that seemed quite acceptable. It’s free too. Bonus.
Segovia is surprising. It’s absolutely beautiful. The Roman Aqueduct is totally amazing, quite breathtaking actually. A magnificent structure. It apparently stands without a scrap of cement or mortar, all 166 arches and 120 pillars!
The buildings here are haughty and elegant. Castilian style and grandeur from the days when Segovia was a royal resort and a base for the Spanish Cortes (parliament). It has an impressive gothic cathedral, (a small entrance fee is payable towards its upkeep) and a cluster of smaller, ancient churches. The incredible turreted Alcazar on the edge of the historic town looks like a Disney fairytale castle.
It’s a great place, not one to be missed if you are a fan of architecture. There are some good looking restaurants around the main square, Plaza de San Martin. The signature dish is suckling Pig. Once again, I’m desperate to hang around and sample the wares but it’s given freezing fog first thing so we do the sensible thing and drive on. It’s after 5pm when we leave so we figure we can get another couple of hours driving in before darkness falls.
We make it to Valledolid. A big, modern sprawling city. Not my scene at all. Traffic was a nightmare too. It’s an uninteresting Aire but free over night (payable during the day) with water and dump. Nothing wrong with it and it felt safe. We just wanted to sleep now. After pizza and a glass or two of much deserved vino tinto of course.
So that’s your lot for this instalment folks. Apologies if the photos are a little more sparse than previously. I’m running out of media space on this blogging platform which is a pain. Tomorrow we will make a break for the border with France. Do come along for the ride!
Love to you all back home and to those of you on the road, safe and happy travels. May your sat navs guide you well. On wide roads with no nasty diversions!!
And so to my bed chums. TTFN ❤️🇪🇸🇫🇷